Monday, June 13, 2011

PS427: Thirty Years of Falling Behind

For 20 years, from 1960 to 1980, Wisconsin and Minnesota were twins in real income. Neither state outpaced the other in real income growth per capita.

But in the summer of 1981 that changed. Since then Minnesota has enjoyed faster income growth, and the gap between the states has widened steadily for 30 years.

Given we were twins for 20 years, what changed in 1981 that made Minnesota the economic power and Wisconsin the slower growth sibling?

Is Minnesota doing something right or Wisconsin doing something wrong? How might state government affect this difference, and why hasn't it been addressed over 30 years? Or if private business is the solution, why have they failed to keep up with our neighbors?

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